Israel accused of striking Iran embassy annex in Damascus; IRGC commander killed 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has blamed Israel for carrying out an airstrike which damaged the Iranian embassy’s consular annex in Damascus on Monday.

IRGC claimed a top Revolutionary Guard commander was among the seven members killed in the strike.
Israel accused of striking Iran embassy annex in Damascus. Representative Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

IRGC claimed a top Revolutionary Guard commander was among the seven members killed in the strike.

The deceased was identified as Senior commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi. His deputy General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi was also among those killed.

The IRGC has condemned the incident.

Targeting Israel, Iranian Ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, said it will respond to the strike.

Hossein Akbari told IRNA news agency that he was at his office in the embassy when the attack took place.

He alleged that it is not the Israeli regime’s first time committing such crimes, which is contrary to international rules, highlighting that the country has previously attacked diplomatic missions and embassies.

Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said it ‘confirmed the deaths of a high-ranking commander who is the leader of Al-Qods Forces in Syria, Lebanon Iranian advisors and five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as a primary death toll for the Israeli strikes on a building of the Iranian embassy in the capital Damascus, amid information regarding the death of the commander of Al-Qods Legion under the same strikes’.

UN sending team to ‘shattered’ Al-Shifa Hospital

Israeli forces are blocking aid deliveries into famine-stricken northern Gaza as the five-month-long war grinds on despite recent strong demands from the top UN court and the Security Council for open aid access into the enclave and for a temporary ceasefire and the return of all hostages taken in October, as the UN plans a assessment mission into Al-Shifa Hospital, which had been occupied by Israel for two weeks.

More than a dozen Palestinians have been killed in recent weeks while trying to get access to food. Multiple nations are carrying out airdrops in their effort to deliver desperately needed aid in the face of Israel’s slow walking food shipments at border crossings into Gaza, according to news reports.

The victims reportedly either died by drowning while trying to retrieve food packages from the sea or were fatally struck by falling boxes of aid.

At the same time, reports from UN agencies on the ground in Gaza indicate a continuation of airstrikes and attacks.

This comes alongside ever louder calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and for Israel to comply with both a Security Council resolution for a cessation of hostilities during Ramadan, which ends on 10 April, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) orders last Friday, asking the country to respect its obligations as a signatory of the Genocide Convention and open border crossings to allow sufficient aid into the enclave.

Battlefields across the Strip

In its latest situation report, the specialist UN Palestine relief agency UNRWA said Israeli Security Forces (ISF) continued military operations across the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement and destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure.

Israeli attacks have killed more than 32,000 people in Gaza since the war began in October, according to the health ministry there, following a Hamas-led incursion into Israel that left almost 1,200 dead and more than 240 taken hostage.

Airstrikes and bombardment continued in north Gaza, Khan Younis and Rafah, where UNRWA estimates a total of 1.2 million people are now living, the vast majority in formal and informal shelters, the UN agency reported.

Over 100 UNRWA schools have been directly or indirectly hit, with some being severely damaged. Many have been used as shelters for displaced families since the war began.

“No place is safe in #GazaStrip. This is a war on children. On their childhood and their future. Ceasefire now,” UNRWA posted on social media.